Business is business. This saying has been going around for a while, and in the beginning, I really didn’t understand what it meant, but now I do.
Working alongside my friends for a whole year can be extremely difficult at times. How can I fulfill my role as president to its fullest potential while maintaining my close relationships with everyone?
I felt this pressure when I was the vice president for The Femcode last year, and the pressure continued as I took on this presidency.
I am close with a lot of people within the senate. They’re the few people who get to see me for a long duration of time during the busy school week. However, at times I need to be able to separate my personal life from my professional life. I need to be able to separate “friend Radhika” from “President Radhika,” for my own sanity.
During senate meetings, I make sure that problems, discussions and disagreements do not go beyond the table.
Whatever is discussed during meetings should not be taken out of context. People in all situations need to keep this in mind. We should not let a situation affect our personal life when it was only meant to stay within the professional realm.
Throughout the year, I’ve learned various ways of how to combat this issue. For example, I make sure to establish some clear boundaries. During the time I am working on Undergraduate Student Government-related things, my peers respect me and respect my time. I set some hours during the day during which I will solely be doing USG work. I am a different person at those times — I am stricter, all-business and I like to get things done.
Other times within the day, I’ll set up time to relax, take a breather and catch up on homework. During these times, I am less strict and joke around more.
All of this comes together when we have a USG event. I love to go to our events because I am happy to see the event come together after all our hard work. To add on, spending time with my fellow senate members couldn’t make me happier — they truly understand the college-USG balance better than anyone else.
Being able to adhere to a strict schedule and fluctuate between my different personas has enabled me to be seen as a friend and as a president.
If I were to present myself differently in these two scenarios, I know it’d be hard for others to take me seriously. Thus, setting boundaries and having a clear schedule has allowed me to fulfill my many hats.
Radhika Kalani is the president of USG. She can be reached at email@example.com. Her office is located at 3-272 in the Newman Vertical Campus.